Weeds can be a significant problem in berries, tree fruits, tree nuts, and vine crops (e.g. grapes, hops, etc.) especially after transplanting and during flowering and fruit and nut set. Herbicides are a primary tool for managing weeds, even though the evolution of herbicide resistance has limited the utility of many products and off-target movement can sometimes result in damage to trunks, shoots, leaves and flowers. Many growers are transitioning to organic systems to address changes in consumer preferences or satisfy the requirements set in place to enter export markets.
Perennial cropping systems are exploring technologies such as automated harvesters and pruners, to reduce labor demands, and canopy sensing sprayers, to minimize the amounts of crop protection chemicals applied to shrubs, trees, and vines. Novel weed control tools that eliminate or reduce the need for herbicides are actively being developed for and marketed in the agriculture and horticulture industries. These new technologies could begin to play and increasingly large role in future crop production, particularly in high-value specialty crops that 1) have limited herbicide options, 2) are sensitive to herbicide injury, and 3) are heavily reliant on a labor market that is simultaneously growing more scarce and more expensive.
A team of weed scientists from UC Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey (link below) about your current weed management practices and your interest in novel technologies, like vision-guided sprayers and cultivators, and electric, steam, and pressurized water weeders. This will help us plan research and extension projects that will address stakeholder concerns regarding the future of weed management.
There’s always a chance that we forgot to include some amazing tools that are emerging on the horizon; please feel free to e-mail Lynn Sosnoskie at email@example.com and let her know what you think the future of weed control will look like.
Thanks for your time. We appreciate your support of weed science research.